When it comes to performing at his best at the World Cup Final, Brady Ellison is unmatched. The three-time Olympic archer won the World Cup Final for the fourth time Sunday in Odense, Denmark, defeating Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands in a gold-medal match that was decided in a single-arrow shoot-off.
Ellison entered the tournament as the only competitor ever to win the World Cup Final three times (2010, 2011, 2014) and remains the event’s most decorated competitor with his unprecedented fourth win. He also now has an unmatched five medals in his seven World Cup Final appearances.
Ellison also claimed the Longines Prize for Precision for the fourth time, continuing is streak of being the only men’s archer to win the award, which is presented to the competitor who scores the most 10s throughout the world cup season. Ellison scored a total of 216 10s this season, 40 more than his closest rival, Wei Chun-Heng of Chinese Taipei, to extend his domination of the award, having already claimed it in 2010, 2012 and 2014 (the award is available only in even years to recurve archers).
“I really like the Longines Prize for Precision for a couple of reasons,” Ellison told World Archery. “One, I’m the only person that wins it, so I really like that; that I’ve been that fortunate. I do like that it’s a good showing for consistency over the whole season. You may not be winning tournaments but you are shooting well enough to be in the top. I think that’s cool. I like getting a watch. It gives you extra incentive to do something besides win a tournament.”
Ellison rolled into the gold-medal match with 6-2 wins over Mexico’s Ernesto Boardman in the quarterfinals and Wei in the semifinal, while van den Berg defeated world champion Kim Woojin and Olympic champion Ku Bonchan of Korea to advance to set up a rematch of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze-medal match, where Ellison emerged victorious.
The battle between Ellison, who entered the final ranked No. 4 in the world, and No. 3-ranked van den Berg came down to fractions of an inch in the fifth end. Both shot two 10s and an 8, although there was a tense moment while judges examined the Dutchman’s last arrow to determine if it was touching the 9 ring. It was ruled an 8, which set up the dramatic single-arrow finish. Ellison launched a 9, giving his rival the opportunity to best him, but van den Berg’s arrow landed as an 8, giving Ellison the title.
“As soon as Sjef let that arrow go, I turned to my wife and said ‘that looks good,’” Ellison said to World Archery after the match. “Maybe he didn’t see some wind or something out on the field, and I just got lucky. I don’t feel like I really deserve this one. Sjef shot good, and came back. In the shoot-off we both put it out left, and luckily mine was a little closer.
“It caps a pretty good year,” Ellison added. “I won the indoor World Cup Final, an individual Olympic medal, bronze at the (indoor) world championships and now this.”